In the District, Aaron Thompson has made a small name for himself recording emotional, indoor-kid laptop folk, but over the last year—during which time he moved to New York City—the singer has stepped more and more outside. His strong 2010 full-length and instrumental commissions were mostly delicate and womblike, with lots of glitchy ambience gurgling beneath skeletal guitar figures. His recent Vessel EP, in contrast, mostly ditches the electronics and the solipsism, which suits the narrative wanderlust well: If you’re going to sing about sea journeys, environmental catastrophe, and the devil, you might as well bury your rasp in an orchestral maelstrom. “I’m sinking low, I’m sinking, cried the sparrow with blackened wings,” Thompson intones, soon giving ground to a crashing, apocalyptic string motif. “You know of a hope, but you don’t know hope, and the distance is wide as the sea.” Aaron Thompson performs with The Jackfields and Bobbie Allen at 9 p.m. at IOTA in Arlington. $10.
Local trio Wild Fruit makes some pretty nice, stimulant-addled David Byrne-ish garage jams. With You’re Jovian and Rocket Boat at Black Cat Backstage. $8.
I have no idea how to pin down the blurred, nostalgic aesthetic DJs Aaron Baird and Sean Peoples (of Sockets Records) will explore at Color Wheel, their night at St. Ex, but this playlist should give you an idea. 10 p.m. at St. Ex.
Or, if you want more blurred and nostalgic music, see San Francisco ambient producer Tycho at Rock & Roll Hotel. $15.